- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The White House on Wednesday celebrated the news that 34 senators now have publicly said they’ll back President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, a development that virtually ensures that the agreement will survive in Congress.

Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the president is “encouraged” by the growing support in the Senate. Retiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski, Maryland Democrat, on Wednesday became the 34th senator to come out in favor of the deal.

“The administration is encouraged that more than a third of the United States Senate has now indicated that they’ll support the successful implementation of the international diplomatic agreement to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. This strong support is a validation of the outreach that the president and his team have organized to make sure that every member of the Senate understands exactly what’s included in this agreement,” Mr. Earnest said.

Opponents of the deal, including some Democrats, likely will push through the Senate a resolution of disapproval on the deal. But with 34 senators now saying they support the agreement, a presidential veto of that resolution would be upheld.

Overriding a presidential veto requires a two-thirds Senate vote.

Moving forward, Mr. Earnest said the White House will continue lobbying undecided members of Congress.

“We are encouraged about the latest tally, but when the stakes are this high … every vote is important,” he said. “And there are still a number of members of Congress in both the House and the Senate that have not yet indicated that they’ll support the agreement, and everyone from the president on down will continue to be engaged in marshaling the information necessary so that undecided members can reach their own conclusions about the agreement.”

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